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I Belong

Early Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

House of Ivy & SorrowTitleHouse of Ivy & Sorrow

Author: Natalie Whipple

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

FormatPaperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062120182 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062120182 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves

Quick & Dirty: This was a refreshing YA paranormal read with great characters, cute romance, and a fun plot. This is a perfect read for fans of the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White.

Opening Sentence: They say a witch lives in the old house under the interstate bridge.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Josephine Hemlock is a witch, and she comes from a long line of witches. Magic is passed down from daughter to daughter and kept a secret from all outsiders. Only females can be born with magic, so witches only procreate girls to carry on their lines. They draw their magic from the earth and in certain areas it is much more abundant. If a spot is found that contains magic it is claimed by a witching family and bound to stay in that line forever, or until the line dies out. Jo’s family has lived in the same house for generations and it generates tons of magic. Many witching families would love to be able to claim it as their own, but first the Hemlock line will have to be destroyed.

Jo’s mother was killed by a dark curse when she was a little girl. So now there is only Jo and her grandmother left in the Hemlock line. They never found the person that cursed her mother and it seems that after all this time they have returned to finish off the rest of the family. While trying to save her family Jo must juggle her normal life as well. Keeping secrets from her best friends has just been a part of her life, but it has never been easy. Not to mention she has finally has her very first boyfriend. Trying to figure out the whole girlfriend thing is hard enough, now she has to protect Winn and all her friends from an unknown enemy that would do anything to take everything away from Jo. Will she be strong enough to save everyone she loves or will she share her mothers fate?

Josephine is just one of those girls you can’t help but love. Full of compassion for others and just a super sweet person. But she also has spunk and attitude, so she was in no way a boring character. It was fun to watch her fall in love for the first time and all that comes with that. She is actually a pretty diverse character since she has to juggle her two worlds and keep so many secrets from some of her best friends. I found her easy to connect with and I loved being inside her head.

Thinking about Winn just makes me smile. He is one of those guys that is just a genuine sweetheart. He treats everyone with respect and even though he is devastatingly gorgeous he doesn’t use that as an excuse to be a jerk. He has a humble personality and was someone that I could easily like. One of the things that made me relate to him was that he grew up as a farm boy and had worked hard his whole life. I grew up in Idaho so he reminded me a lot of some of the boys I knew when I was younger. He was the perfect love interest for Jo and I thought their romance was sweet.

House of Ivy and Sorrow is a wonderful paranormal story. It is a really easy read and I breezed right through it. The magic and setting were unique and drew me in. The characters were cute and easy to relate to. There is just something lite and refreshing about Whipple’s writing. She has a way of making things fun and entertaining without overdoing it. Her writing reminds me a lot of Kiersten White in the way that her stories are simple, yet so engaging. So far I have completed adored everything Whipple has written and will be picking up whatever she comes out with next. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a great clean YA paranormal read.

Notable Scene:

My dad goes limp, but the battle has just begun. I stand, my legs brittle like raven bones, and concentrate on pushing the darkness away from me. It jumps back, but it’s strong and persistent. I’m not sure I’ll have enough magic to get rid of it all. And worse, I swear it knows me. I don’t know what that means but I don’t like it. Without a noise, it tells me how badly it wants me.

It wants to consume.

It wants to hear me scream.

It will enjoy every second it tortures me.

No. Scare tactics won’t work on me. I’m the one with the power here. Taking deep breaths, I draw on the magic in the tree and force the black away from my body. Slowly, slowly, it retreats. I can see my father on the ground, the soft swinging of the willow branches, the light peeking through the vines. The darkness swirls in front of me, like a storm cloud twisted up on itself.


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of House of Ivy & Sorrow. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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